UWindsor professor nominated for UN committee

University of Windsor Leddy Library. Photo courtesy University of Windsor.

A professor from the University of Windsor has been nominated by the Government of Canada for election to the United Nations Committee on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (CRPD).

Professor Laverne Jacobs is an associate professor and associate Dean of the Faculty of Law at the university. She is known for her expertise in disability equality and the law, human rights, and administrative law.

“It is an absolute honour to be nominated by the Government of Canada as its first candidate for the Committee on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities,” says Jacobs. “As a member of the disability community, I am also excited by the prospect of participating in its work. The Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities is a vital international instrument for the implementation and concretization of the rights of people with disabilities around the world. I look forward to contributing to the process and I am truly delighted to receive this nomination.”

MP Irek Kusmierczyk said this is the first time Canada is putting forward a candidate for the committee. There are 18 seats on the committee and nine of them will be filled in June 2022 at the Conference of States Parties to the Convention in New York.

There will be an international campaign to promote Canada’s candidate for the committee.

As a member of the Human Rights Tribunal of Ontario, Jacobs has adjudicated and mediated cases of discrimination. She also wrote the background legal review for the Accessible Canada Act and advised national disability organizations on the interpretation of the CRPD and its application to Canadian law.

“I am also a person with a disability, acquired from a spinal cord injury and a black woman. I, therefore, approach issues of disability equality from a lens that is aware of the importance and challenges of understanding intersectional planes of discrimination and with the willingness to engage in this work carefully, thoroughly and impartially,” said Jacob.

If elected, Jacobs will be the first Canadian ever to sit on the CRPD Committee and her term will be effective January 1, 2023, through December 31, 2026.